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Touring the wonderful Christmas displays at Winterthur Museum has become part of my annual holiday celebration. I was thrilled Sunday to hear the Winterthur guide tell us that the very first area we were touring this year was based on an account of a Christmas fair held by the Dorcas

I was intrigued by the strong advertising and testimonials lauding H. M. Crider’s 1881 fruit-picker (see previous post), so I stopped by York County Heritage Trust’s Agricultural and Industrial Museum to see one of these wonderful inventions in person. It does look like a good idea—strong metal tines or fingers

The Crider brothers are perhaps best known for their late 19th century marriage certificate forms, especially the ones with cutouts for individual photos of the couple, and, sometimes, also of the officiating minister. (More on the certificates later.) This time I’m sharing an ad for H.M. Crider’s 1881 “Patent Adjustable

It was March 7, 1914. The scene was Fayetteville, N.C., where Baltimore Orioles pitchers and catchers had been sent for “pre-spring training drills.” One of the rookies was the “brash left-handed pitcher, George Herman Ruth, fresh from St. Mary’s Industrial school in Baltimore.” Another was pitcher J. Ervin “Willie” LaMotte

I found this 1777 letter last week while looking through the microfilms of the Papers of the Continental Congress at the National Archives. It seems that Colonel Thomas Hartley of York was trying to arm his regiment. He thought the gunsmiths of neighboring Lancaster County would help supply him, but